Jan 30

Garden Planning – Using Visuals

Gardening Jones shares how she plans out the gardens each year.

Gardeners know the winter months are made more bearable by planning for the upcoming gardening seasons.

We like to use visuals to get a feel for what we will plant. It also is a great way to remember for the following year, in case some crop rotation is needed.

Usually we start out with a spreadsheet. Years ago we used to draw the gardens by hand, but since we often make changes even at planting time, we found planning on the computer easier.

This is an Excel spreadsheet, but any one would do. You could also use a word document.

To set up your spreadsheet:

1. Draw the basic garden design using borders and/or fill colors over the cells.
2. Type in any perennials.
3. Add in any perennials you will be planting this year.
4. If you plan to use this program for multiple years, copy your basic diagram and save to another sheet.
5. Rename your sheets accordingly.
6. Add in your annuals.
7. Notate any succession planting you intend to do.
8. You can also add in your transplanting and seed sowing dates.

Pretty basic stuff really. As the weather gets warmer and we have seedlings about ready, we write in the specific varieties that had not be noted yet. We like to print out the sheet when we begin to plant, to make sure we plant the specific variety we are supposed to.

Sometimes we will add in anything unusual, like a new bug infestation. Bllck.

We keep our printed sheets in a binder. It is fun to see how the gardens have changed over time. 2017 will be the 21st. garden at this house.

Of course, like everything else nowadays, there are aps for this. Here are a few to consider.

My Dad is in his 90's, and although very tech savvy, he still uses a pencil and graph paper.
After 30 years of growing, spreadsheet is about as modern as I care to get. :-)

More on succession planting.

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